India Briefs: Recent Incidents of Persecution
Karnataka, India, November 30 (Compass Direct News) – Police on Nov. 26 arrested a Christian woman after Hindu extremists from the Bajrang Dal accused her of forceful conversion at Kushalnagar, Kodagu. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) reported that the extremists barged into a prayer meeting led by a woman from Bethel Ministry, identified only as Janakiyamma, at a Christian’s home on the outskirts of Kushalnagar. The extremists called Kushalnagar police, and a sub-inspector identified only as Chickaswamy and other officers took Janakiyamma into custody and questioned her for three hours, according to the GCIC. They charged her with “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs” and “acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention,” and she was sent to Madikere Jail, according to the GCIC. Area Christian leaders were taking steps to free her at press time.
Chhattisgarh – Police arrested three pastors belonging to the Grace Church of God Welfare Society, along with two other Christian workers, and falsely accused them of forcible conversion on Nov. 22 in Pandariya town, Kawardha. The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) reported that a mob of about 25 Hindu extremists led by Raghu Pathak, along with Block officer Uttam Singh, disrupted the worship service and made the allegations against pastors Jivan Tigga, 57, Leku Sahu and one identified only as Madhav, along with Christian workers Itwari Lal and another identified only as Santosh, according to the EFI. Police later arrived and arrested the pastors under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code for acts intended to outrage religious feelings. The Christians were later released on bail.
Chhattisgarh – A mob of about 200 Hindu extremists disrupted house church worship and attacked pastor Naresh Sahu on Nov. 6 in Parsada village, Raipur. The Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI) reported that at about 11 a.m., as the Sunday worship service was underway, a large group of Hindu extremists gathered in front of the house of Pastor Sahu and brought the service to a halt. The extremists verbally abused the pastor, dragged him out of his house and beat him brutally, according to the EFI. The mob then tore Bibles and other church materials. Police sent the pastor to Abhanpur Hospital for treatment, and both parties have filed complaints, reported the EFI. Pastor Sahu later met with former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Shri Ajit Jogi and submitted a letter about the incident. After intervention by Jogi, police went to the village and issued a notice to both the parties to resolve the dispute.